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Kenneth Joseph Holmes

"No need for words except to say, loved and remembered every day"

“No need for words except to say, loved and remembered every day.”

The funeral of Ken took place on Thursday 17th May at Crewe crematorium.

The chapel was full, with people standing in the aisle. Family and friends gathered to pay their last respects to Ken, the beloved husband of Liz and devoted dad of Andrew and Abby.

Ken was born on 22nd September 1959 to proud parents Leslie and June and he had three siblings.

He went to Mansfield school in Ellesmere Port and then to Whitby Grammar school for boys. Ken was a generous and kind pupil and was popular with both teachers and fellow pupils alike. He was a reflective person who put others first, qualities that stayed with him all his life.

He took the opportunity to go on a scholarship to Germany aged 16, forging a better understanding of other cultures and languages and broadening his life experiences considerably.

After coming back home to study Ken gained a place at Brasenose College, Oxford where he studied French and German. He made good friends at Oxford and enjoyed life at this prestigious college.

It was in the King’s Head pub in Chester that Ken met his future wife Liz. Liz would also go on to study modern languages at Loughborough University and Ken would regularly hitch-hike some 89 miles to visist her.

They graduated in 1983 and married in 1985, moving to live in Germany for two years. Some years later they had two children, Andrew and Abigail.

Andrew spoke at his father’s funeral, remembering his childhood, playing football with dad in the garden. He also spoke about Ken’s passion for Liverpool Football Club, the atmosphere being lightened when he talked about the time they went to St. James’ Park, Newcastle and asking his dad “where was the Kop”, thinking every ground had a Kop! Ken’s reply was “only one special club has a Kop.”

Throughout the service the atmosphere of thankfulness and love for Ken’s life was apparent.

Ken’s daughter Abigail read the poem “He Is Gone”, “You can shed tears that he has gone or you can smile because he has lived.”

Phil Pollock talked about Ken being an exceptional person and work colleague, first meeting Ken in the 1990’s at ICI. He remembered him being softly spoken and unfailingly polite, with strength and determination. He finished by saying how Ken dealt from the onset of his illness with unbelievable courage.

William Elliot spoke of his 25 years of friendship with Ken and Liz, holidays to La Marina, near Alicante and also trips to France. He described Ken as being humble and modest, becoming a home husband while Liz completed her teacher training in Newcastle. His words were spoke with love, remembering how well looked after with love and devotion Ken was when he became ill by Liz and the kids.

A variety of music was played during the service, The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles, What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Make You Feel My Love by Adele, Time To Say Goodbye by Andre Rieu and You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and The Pacemakers.

Towards the end of the service Joe O’Connell read a letter from Ken’s wife in which Liz talked about their first meeting in Chester, their university years and about Ken’s commitment to her and the family over 38 years. She praised her children for their love and support over the years and said there were not enough words to describe Ken and what his passing meant to them. The letter also told of Ken’s love that was born out of great respect and friendship, saying that Ken was the most devoted and wonderful dad to Andrew and Abigail.

The service reflected the goodness and kindness of a man lost too young, with so much more love to give.

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